Dr. Rollin McCraty Podcast #72
The Power of Having Heart Coherence
This episode is full of impactful wisdom and delightful insights into how powerful the heart really is. Rollin McCraty, Ph.D. is Director of Research of the HeartMath Research Center, and joins us to share his psycho-physiology research in heart coherence.
If you’re tuning in order after listening to Jodi Cohen’s and Caitlin Thompson’s episodes, you’ll find this discussion absolutely fascinating. Dr. McCraty reveals the effects of emotions on heart–brain interactions and on autonomic, cardiovascular, hormonal, and immune system functions. You’ll walk away with a lot of information, and want to expand further on the topic.
To learn more about Dr. McCraty and his work, simply head to HeartMath.org. As a starting point, Dr. McCraty recommends purchasing your own Inner Balance Coherence Sensor and reading the book Heart Intelligence – which you can both find on the HeartMath website.
The society that Dr. McCraty referenced in the episode is the Global Coherence Initiative.
“But more importantly, it aligns us with who we really are in a much deeper level. I’m really seeing we have the science here to support the idea that the heart isn’t just a pump. That it’s really an access to a deeper part of who we really are what some people might call their higher self or spirit.”
- HeartMath is a set of tools, exercises, and practices that help you reach an optimal state of heart coherence.
- In Dr. McCraty’s studies, they have redefined coherence to mean a system of parts working smoothly together, creating harmonious relationships that communicate with each other effortlessly.
- The heart is not just a kind of mechanical pump. It’s also a hormonal gland that secretes hormones such as oxytocin (the love hormone), the catecholamines (dopamine & adrenaline), and norepinephrine (a chemical messenger).
- The heart and the brain are more connected than we realize. As the heart sets the pace for everything in the body, so it also does for the brain. The quality of those signals affect our brain’s cognitive functions and how well we can use our decision making ability to self regulate.
- The heart rhythm is the most reflective of how we feel. Specific emotional states will look different than others. For example, anxiety looks different than anger. When we feel emotions like love, appreciation, kindness, and compassion, our heart and systems will shift into different rhythms of coherence. When we get triggered by emotions like anxiety, impatience, or frustration, the heart rhythm becomes chaotic, showing that all these systems within the body are out of sync.
- Regulating our emotional diet is far more important than what we eat. Most health issues and conflicts we have in our life are representations of our failure to self regulate. The key to our growth is our capacity to stay composed when life gets tough. We have a greater degree to self regulate our emotional diet than most people believe.